Politicians criticise Pak Punjab Govt's 'media ban'

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Lahore, July 10 (ANI): Pakistan Punjab province government's decision to impose a ban on the media has received wide scale criticism from various quarters, particularly politicians.

Though several Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) supported the bill regarding the ban on the media on the floor of the house, a large number of legislators slammed the resolution.

It is believed that the sudden move to impose a gag order on the media was in response to the continuous coverage of the fake degree issue.

The issue came to light after Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid MPA Samina Khawar Hayat's degree was reported to be fake, but she claimed that it was authentic and that she had been wrongly targeted and grouped with other fake degree holders.

PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain said his party does not support the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly, and added that journalists were only doing their duty by reporting on the issue.

Former information minister Sherry Rehman said she supports development of a free media in the country.

The provincial government's media bill asked media representatives to observe impartiality in covering events, 'refrain from adopting an insulting attitude towards legislators', The Daily Times reports.

The resolution also asked the media houses to discourage 'baseless' reporting and demonstrate responsibility. The resolution demanded that the Punjab government constitute a joint committee comprising of media personnel and MPAs to prepare recommendations to sort out the issue.

Terming the ban as an assault on the 'fourth pillar of the state' former information minister Mohammad Ali Durrani urged the leadership to withdraw the order.

Durrani termed the resolution as a "suicidal act" aimed at assaulting the free media. (ANI)

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